Dear Snarky – The Hairy Back Man vs. The HOA

Dear Snarky,covered-in-back-hair

 I don’t know whether to be embarrassed or angry.  We recently moved to a new neighborhood that has a community pool.  My husband and I bring our two young daughters there to swim almost every day. 

 Yesterday we got a letter in the mail. It was from the HOA and it said that neighbors found my husband’s “excessive back hair disturbing” and that there had been “complaints.” The letter went on to request that in “the future he wear a “swim shirt” or some kind of “cover up for his upper body.”

 Yes, my husband is hairy, but he’s a MAN.  It’s never something that I think anyone has found “disturbing” before.  Should we just ignore the letter and go to the pool or buy a cover up for my husband? To be honest right now, I just want to move.

 Signed, Kathy

Dear Kathy,

First off, please know that I doubt any where in your Home Owners Association covenant does it state that furry men have to wear swim shirts.  So, your HOA can just shove it.  In fact, if I were you I’d take a razor and shave HOA’s Suck into your husband’s back (call it hair artistry) and then have him go the pool and do cannon balls.

Now, I know the chances of you actually doing that are slim to none so here’s some advice you might really use. Do whatever is best for your family. If you want to take a stand have your husband go shirtless to the pool and proudly celebrate his abundant follicle forest.

If this is going to make you and your  hubs uncomfortable and keep you away from the pool then buy a swim shirt and just be done with it. Or you can go to another pool where you don’t feel like you’re being judged and enjoy your summer. 

Now if you really want to make splash you could threaten your HOA with legal action. I’m no lawyer, but maybe you should file a civil suit for discrimination based on body hair. Supreme Court here you come!

*If you have a question for Dear Snarky email me at or private message me on my Snarky Facebook page. 🙂


12 thoughts on “Dear Snarky – The Hairy Back Man vs. The HOA

  1. KellieB says:

    Excessive body hair is gross to many, but it isn’t against the law. He should proudly display it and run off the A-holes at the pool.

  2. HOA Board Member says:

    As a member of an HOA board I’m going to try to explain why the HOA might have sent the letter. One, hair clogs pools filters. Body hair sheds at a faster rate than hair on your head so perhaps the HOA was thinking of maintenance as an issue. Two, some HOA’s do have a dress code and while perhaps not stating in their bylaws that excessive back hair violates the dress code I’m sure the bylaws are board enough to include back hair or anything that “violates public decency.” So before people go hating on their HOA they may first want to know the facts.

    • paying HOA member says:

      Seriously? I could, if I wanted to, make a case on why overweight people would splash more water out of the pool when jumping in, or would be harder and create more wear on the slides or diving board. But I won’t, because that’s tacky and rude and hurtful; all of which the above letter is.
      As an HOA member, I pay dues for the upkeep of our community pool, as I am certain the letter writer does, too. If, at the end of the year, the HOA has gone over budget on pool maintence, FOR WHATEVER REASON, the HOA can put on their big girl panties and prioritize the budget, or raise rates. End of story.

      Personally, I would refuse to shave my legs and armpits in solidarity with my hairy husband, and make sure to swim every freakin’ day.

  3. wisegal99 says:

    To HOA board member – If you are going to ask one hairy guy to cover up, you have to ask EVERY guy with even a little bit of hair to cover up. Signs must be posted etc etc. You can’t just single out one hairy guy. And if you are going to ban body hair, then why don’t you make girls with super long hair pull it up or wear a hair net. It sounds like hairy guy discrimination to me. I’ve seen some guys with super hairy legs. Are you going to make them wear pants in the pool now?

  4. Rachel says:

    He should stay proud and hairy and this will blow over soon enough. He should also start giving free hugs at the pool.

  5. Lisa W says:

    Amen, Snarky. You rule & rock. All hail. And on the same note, this obsession with being hairless everywhere but on the head has gotten ridiculous. I consider anyone who insists on shorn privates a closet pedophile.

  6. DonnaLu says:

    This is exactly why I will never buy a house with an HOA. Can you say return of the Stepfords? How about Nazi’s in training. IMHO HOA’s are nothing more than a way for control freaks to control others. It’s my house and no one is going to tell me I can’t put in a garden or have a clothes line if I want one.

    While I am not a fan of back hair, it’s in our DNA people. I like the lawsuit idea too. It’s called discrimination if he is the only one who has to cover up. Every person who wants to enter the pool should shave it or cover up all their hair too. I see a return of swim hats (is that what they’re called). You know those nasty white rubber things we girls had to stuff our hair in to go in the pool at the Y years ago.

  7. Maureen Sklaroff (@BlueBellsCS) says:

    I personally would hire a lawyer. It is absurd that they would even ask. As Wisegal99 said, unless they are going to ask every guy with one strand of hair to cover up and everyone with long hair to keep their hair in swim caps, they are out of line. Plus, I think it borders on racist as hairy backs seems to be limited to those from certain heritages. My husband is of a particular Jewish ancestry where all the men get balder on top and hairier on their backs as they get older. He had no idea that hairy backs were considered gross by some until he moved to a different area, as so many men where he grew up had hairy backs. I have to admit that it took some effort on my part to embrace his hairier self (no pun intended, but it works), but I do think our society has gotten too hair obsessed. The fact that women feel pressured to get Brazilian waxes should have been a wake up call to everyone.

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